Hong Kong’s June 4 candlelight memorial organizers lose appeal

Organizers of a bloody crackdown by China’s Communist government on the 1989 student-led pro-democracy protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square said on Saturday they have lost the call to hold this year’s rally. The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China plans to hold a candlelight vigil in Victoria Park next Friday.

It is the second year that Hong Kong police have banned police from holding the vigil, citing coronavirus restrictions.

“We must apologize to the public. The Hong Kong Alliance will no longer be able to legally organize a candlelight vigil this year. We will stop advocating for the vigil,” Richard Tsoi of the coalition said in a press statement.

“On that day, as an organization and a member of the Hong Kong Alliance, we will not show up and join.”

Tsoi said he believes the people of Hong Kong will still commemorate the peaceful suppression of pro-democracy activists on June 4.

Samuel Chu, chairman of the Hong Kong Democratic Committee in Washington, D.C., tweeted Chua’s remarks and wrote, “We will light a candle for you and all of Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong Security Bureau issued a statement warning people not to attend illegal rallies or violate national security laws imposed on the territory by Beijing.

Speaking at a news conference, Hong Kong Island Senior Superintendent Liao Ka-ki said police welcomed the Appeal Board’s decision and urged the public not to attend or publicize any unauthorized gatherings.

“The police have reasonable grounds to believe that these activities not only include the risk of participants and others contracting Newcastle pneumonia, but also pose a serious threat to the lives and health of all citizens, endanger public safety, and affect the rights of others”

Riau said the police will take a zero-tolerance approach and take firm action against anyone who violates the law.

The security law combined with coronavirus restrictions cleared the city’s streets of protesters after anti-government demonstrations plunged the financial center into turmoil in 2019.